Minor League Ball: How Good Are Prospects In Blockbuster?

If this deal really does happen -- and there's now every reason to think it will, or already has -- the Dodgers will receive three big stars (or ex-big stars), while the Red Sox will get ... James Loney and a bunch of young players who are completely unknown to the great majority of baseball enthusiasts, especially east of the Rocky Mountains.

Fortunately, Minor League Ball's John Sickels has the skinny on all four of Boston's new young players: Jerry Sands, Ivan DeJesus, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster. After the reports, John sums up:

In exchange for enormous salary relief and a fresh start, the Red Sox received a disappointing veteran first baseman, two pitchers with a decent chance to perform well in a major league rotation, a guy with a solid role-playing power bat, and a guy who can be a solid utility infielder. Ultimately I think it is the development of De La Rosa and Webster that matters most, plus the financial flexibility offered by the salary re-set.

For the Dodgers, this trade puts them even more fully into "win now" mode, while putting more gaps in the farm system.

The disappointing first baseman, of course, is Loney. He is exceptionally unlikely to be with the Red Sox next season, considering his performance with the Dodgers these last few seasons.

As Sickels notes, the keys to this deal are 1) the Red Sox's new-found financial flexibility, and 2) the potential of Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, both of whom might play key roles for the Sox as soon as next season.

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